Praising Columbus is now impolitic. Truth is, he's considered a bit of a dick. But you've got to respect one who -- wholly unchecked -- can rename people & places, and it sticks.
5.) Jean-Jacques Rousseau: This French philosopher is probably best known for his ideas about social contract in governance. At least that’s what I knew him for when I was a student of the social sciences.
Unlike the Marquis de Sade, whose philosophy and sexual proclivities were intimately intertwined, one wouldn’t necessarily guess that Rousseau was a masochist into getting spanked by dominant women from his political theories. Although, all interest in governance is about who holds the whip and what the whipee gets in exchange for being subjected to it — figuratively speaking, of course.
artistic empire had a legendary libido — and not just in her youth. What interests people is not so much that she was sexually promiscuous, but that age didn’t seem to curb her desire for sexual conquest.
Even though her memoir is filled with discussion of her sexual dalliances, she is still more well known for discovering important 20th century artists and saving art from thieving Nazis.
This may seem far-fetched (not to mention grosser than the other proclivities discussed herein) but there’s even a Wikipedia page about it — so it must be true.
I knew from discussion of the movie “Amadeus” (which I, sadly, haven’t seen) that there was something unexpectedly scandalous about Mozart, but I never would have guess this was it.
2.) King Edward VII: It may be well-established that King Edward had some wild times, but the fact that he had custom sex furniture made tells you just how all-consuming his passions were.
1.) H.G. Wells: The author of “War of the Worlds,” “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” and “The Time Machine,” Wells was all for free love, long before there was a free love movement. He is said to have had sex atop bad reviews. While I knew him as an early sci-fi author who famously predicted the atomic bomb (Physicist, Leo Szilard, cited Wells’ “The World Set Free” as an inspiration), he was — unknown to me — legendarily promiscuous.